US-based coach throws hat in the ring for Benna Boys’ head coach position

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By Carlena Knight

Another US-based coach has thrown his hat in the ring for the position of head coach of the Senior men’s national team, following reports that the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association would be ending its relationship with US-based Michel Dinzey.

The new prospect is Nick Dimitrievski, the Athletic Director & Football Head Coach at the Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse, New York, who has led the college soccer programme for 18 years, beginning in the 1998 season. A SUNY Morrisville alum, Dimitrievski holds numerous scoring records at both Morrisville and Liverpool High School.

His tenure at Morrisville led him to the University of San Francisco where he served as team captain in 1985.

He went on to play professionally for the San Francisco Black Hawks (WSL) in addition to serving as a regular member of the National and Regional Olympic Development Pool through college and beyond. He also represented his region in the Empire State Games from 1983-1995.

His coaching tenure with the Bobcats includes a 277-47-6 record, 11 regional and seven district championships. Dimitrievski has contributed to the athletic and academic careers of 32 Academic and 36 Athletic All-Americans over the past 18 years, to include Antiguans Janiel Simon and Kelly Frederick. The Bobcats have remained a perennial powerhouse which includes the 2001 NJCAA National Championship.

“Coach Nick” as he is more affectionately known, confirmed his interest in the position during an appearance on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show on Wednesday.

“I’ve been in talks with some officials there and you know we’ve probably given over 30 scholarships to former student athletes, both men and women. That’s been one of my dreams because I think as a national team coach I can provide so much for the country [especially] at the grassroots to give them a different opportunity, like in Janiel’s case, and I think that’s how you change the culture of winning there. This is another way to win; you get them in a different environment, get them into these colleges from here they can play in the different leagues during the summer. It’s just a different opportunity for them.”

He believes that in order for the national programme to improve, more focus should be placed on the grassroot level.

“The difference here along with the opportunities that I’m proposing at the national team with the grassroot level is developing the complete player and that’s probably one of the biggest absences that I see. Kids are just not taught how to be a complete player and it takes a while for them to understand it because it’s second nature so that is what I would focus on and is actually my biggest strength — mostly conditioning and discipline. The development with these kids from the youth to the national team would be huge,” Dimitrievski said.

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